A Question of Romance

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Q: My husband and I will be coming into town from Columbus for our anniversary. Do you have any recommendations for a romantic dinner? Someone suggested Johnny's Bar... your thoughts? Amanda Columbus A: I think the Johnny's Bar suggestion is a good one. The cuisine at this Fulton Road spot is mainly upscale-Italian, with an emphasis on veal; and the ambiance is opulent, dimly lit, and apt to conjure up images of 1940s-style hideaways. Pier W in Lakewood is also a popular choice for special occasions. The cuisine focuses on seafood, with contemporary-American twists. Best of all, the dining room overlooks Lake Erie, offering uniquely impressive views of the downtown skyline. Ask for a seat near the windows. Of course, diners' definitions of "romantic" can vary. If you like a bit of trendiness in your trysts, spots like Fahrenheit and Lolita, both in Tremont, are hip, youthful places; both can get a little noisy, but offer an energetic vibe and topnotch food. Also, of course, Lola, on downtown's East Fourth St., is always a "best bet" for its combination of smart, contemporary decor, lively ambiance, and imaginative new-American cuisine. Nearby, Vivo is another unique possibility, with its historic setting inside the 1896 Arcade, a menu of contemporary Italian cuisine, and a dim, sexy, club-like setting; ask about reserving the semi-private table, in the corner. I hope this helps. For detailed info on these spots and more, you can search the Restaurant Guide by restaurant name. Many of the listings will also include links to full reviews. -- Elaine T. Cicora

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